Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 19, 2022

No context staff report

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

There is an item on tomorrow night’s City Council agenda that should be deeply concerning to people, even those that are super rah rah police. The police department is asking for the ability to make policy changes without the approval of the City Council.

This seems bad.

From the staff report:

The Alameda Police Department (APD) contracts with Lexipol for the generation, retention, updating, and publishing of our policy manual.  Part of the contract includes periodic review and revision of the policy manual to reflect current best practices, emerging case law, and new legislative changes/mandates.  In additional Lexipol, the PD further engages in regular review and proposes policies modifications when operational changes occur or when the need for new internal procedures are identified.  This report provides recommended changes to various policies based on legal developments and/or recommended best practices.  This report also recommends that the City Council authorize the Police Chief to make future updates to police policies without prior City Council approval, which is in line with industry standards. 

The staff report goes on to explain:

Relating to general policy development and implementation, prior to June 2020, consistent with general industry standards, the Police Chief retained the discretion to update police policies.  At the June 16, 2020 City Council Meeting, City Council directed a change to that policy, requiring “all Policing policy changes [] be brought to the City Council for approval before implementation, in the instance where changes in State or federal law or courts rule that change is required, changes can be made and brought to the next available Council meeting for ratification….”  See Minutes of June 16, 2020 City Council Meeting.  Since that direction, the City has hired a new Police Chief and the new Chief has commenced an overall review of policing policies in an effort to further enhance policing practices in Alameda.

Hey I wonder what happened in early 2020 which warranted a response from elected officials to provide a bit more oversight since that staff report fails to cite any reason why.

Hmm…

Hmm…

Welp, I guess we’ll never know.

Look, just because the City Council was okay and supportive of the hiring of the police chief (remember the police chief is not a direct hire of the City Council but rather of the City Manager) does not mean that they give leave to abdicate their responsibility to provide policy direction for the City. That’s what they’re elected to do.

Any City Council member that actually votes for this doesn’t understand what the role of a City Council member is and should be immediately disqualified from being re-elected to the City Council. If they can’t take two hot seconds to review what is going to be in the policy manual that public safety officers will be used in interactions with the public then they don’t deserve to serve the public.

5 Comments »

  1. Other than legally required changes, policies should be updated no more often than quarterly or semi-annually. Ad hoc haphazard changes would be a training and enforcement nightmare for the police, not to mention council approvel.

    Comment by rational policy updates — September 19, 2022 @ 7:58 am

  2. This is a disappointing proposal being brought forward.
    We do not have a City Manager at this point … only a string of ‘Interim’, which will continue I suspect for months as the current Interim Manager is about to retire.

    I have no doubt that it is ‘industry standard’ for the Police Chief to update policies without first obtaining CC approval, but that does not mean we should just go with ‘industry standard’. I am thinking the industry still needs to be closely reviewed by our representatives.

    I’ll admit to being a supporter of the former Chief who said ‘ … we’ll release the video and the public will see why the officers arrested him … ‘ and of course many of us are still waiting to hear what we were suppose to see, ’cause there was no reason to detail him that I saw … and I’m sure that Chief / Command staff were viewing it with ‘industry’ standard eyes.

    Yeah, I really am disappointed this is being brought forward …

    Comment by Ron Mooney — September 19, 2022 @ 8:14 am

  3. The solution here seems to be ridiculously simple. The chief should make all the updates to keep Alameda policies up to date with national standards, but ratify those changes only every 6 months or quarter with approval from council. It’s not that hard.

    Comment by Who Polices the Police? — September 19, 2022 @ 9:42 am

  4. Uh oh- Lauren challenging the police state narrative….

    Now do the emergency pandemic lockdowns, moratoriums, and mandates. Joe Biden said on 60 minutes last night that “the pandemic is over.”

    Comment by Really — September 19, 2022 @ 12:53 pm

    • Well you sure picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. Get your head out of your ass, kid!

      Comment by Rod — September 20, 2022 @ 6:42 am


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